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borne by several respectable clergymen. I idle. He does not look idle; he does not He shook hands with me, and “with evi- talk idle. He has all the appearance, the dent emotion” began to rehearse the tale air and manner, the tone and conversaof his wife's death, which had necessi- tion, of a very active man. I came on his tated his coming to ask me to purchase track no less than four times soon after some of his works. “Well, Mr. - " his last interview with me. I heard of his I said, “I do not think it worth while to inquiring in a shop respecting the various repeat the reasons I gave you on the oc- parochial clergy. It was on a Saturday casion of your first wife's death for not that he was thus engaged, and when the buying any of your works.” “ Then have tradesman suggested that Saturday was a I called on you before ?” he asked. “Yes, bad day for calling on clergyman, his and I do not wish to go through the con- scornful disparagement of the practice of versation again." He merely bowed and leaving the writing of sermons to the end went out. And yet when he called on me of the week testified to his instinctive the first time I had great difficulty in get-, aversion to idleness. Two ladies and a ting rid of him. He took high ground, clergyman also informed me that he had and talked about the lack of christian received a visit from this energetic man, charity in brother clergymen now-a-days and that he took the same high tone with as contrasted with the abundance of it in them as he did on the first occasion with apostolic times. But we understood each me. The clergyman said he could not other on the second occasion, and there assist him without making inquiries about was no need of any conversation about him. “Sir," said the other, “the Master apostolic times. Years had elapsed since never made inquiries before He gave his first visit.
help.” “No," said my friend, “but the What a life such a man must lead! Master knew what was in man, and I do Surely the dictum that the professional not.” The mention of these facts may save mendicant is ready to do anything rather some reader from being imposed upon by than work must be received with consid- Mr. ; though so clever a tactician erable limitation. It appears to me that has doubtless more manæuvres than one. he does work; and very hard too. Who- ! Great, indeed, is the versatility of the ever has taken a district, upon occasion fraternity. Two men, one dressed in of some parochial house-to-house visita- black, with a white tie, once called upon tion, for the purpose of collecting money me, and unrolled a petition to Parliament for a national school or some similar ob- in favour of some new restrictive legislaject, is well aware that the soliciting of tion concerning the observance of Sun. money from house to house, even under day. They requested my signature. Havthe most favourable circumstances, is not ing doubts about the wisdom of overmuch easy work. No doubt there is something legislation on this subject, I began to rather exciting in the sudden transitions argue the point with them, when they of feeling which await the house-to-house tried to intimidate me by saying that I visitor. At one place he is received with should stand alone among the clergy if I the utmost deference, and perhaps is in- refused to sign; and they showed me the vited to partake of refreshment whilst the names of some of the clergy. I said that cheque-book is being got ready; from “standing alone” was nothing to me, the next he is summarily ejected. On even if I did stand alone, which I did not some men the rebuffs exercise a very believe. So off they went. Next day I depressing influence; but other men are asked my brother curate if they had been only roused by them to more vigorous to him. “ Yes,” he said ; "and I signed exertion. It is necessary that the suc- the petition.” He then told me that, after cessful mendicant should belong to the he had signed, they said that the expenses latter class. It is also necessary, in order of the petition were very heavy, and therethat he may be able to stand the wear and fore they hoped he would give a subscriptear of his occupation, that he should be tion towards defraying them. Accordingly of a speculative turn of mind. Some men he subscribed. A few days afterwards I cannot bear the monotony of a fixed set- was in the shop of a tradesman who told tled income. They like it to fluctuate. me that he had been signing a petition Their turn of mind is a dangerous one. about “Early Closing ;” and he also, it It may secure one man a villa at Twick- appeared, had been asked for a subscripenham ; it consigns another to house-to-tion, which he gave. I asked him to dehouse visitation. Such visitation, I am scribe the men. Sure enough, the “ Sabsure, is no mere idle amusement. Mr. bath " petitioners who had been working
- whatever else he may be, cannot be'the clergy were also the “Early Closing”
petitioners who were working the trades. From which it appears, and from much men. Such men as these must take a else of a like kind which might be adpositive delight in chicanery, and are will-duced, that the professional mendicant ing to take any amount of trouble to in- supplies a useful element in the training dulge their propensity. To say that it of the clergy. He enlarges their knowlwould be better if they employed their edge of human nature; a department of talents for some other purpose is alto- knowledge in which they, of all men, gether wide of the mark. They would be need to be proficient. They see reprothe same men, having recourse to the same duced in him, under circumstances famaneuvres, in any other course of life. vourable to accurate diagnosis, many traits In order to gain their ends they make it of conduct and character which in a more their business to cajole, to flatter, to in- respectable sphere not only pass muster timidate. They would do the same, what- but even gain credit. They learn to ever they supposed their ends to be. The know what these traits indicate, and to same thing, indeed, is done continually rate at their true value some of the arts by many who would be very much sur- by which in high places a specious repuprised at having imputed to them any tation may be achieved and sustained. sympathy with the tactics of fictitious Hence, whilst ready to co-operate with advocates of Early Closing and Sabbath “public opinion" in such manipulation Observance. The argument used to in- of outward circumstances as may tend in duce me to sign the “petition” would low places to render the impostor less have been none the less objectionable obnoxious to “society," they feel that the even if the document had been genuine. stronghold of imposture is to be sought And yet it is but a fair specimen of a kind and assailed in a region above the sphere of argument which is frequently brought of the professional mendicant. to bear upon members of my profession This way of looking at things admits who manifest any reluctance to sign one of wide application. Listen, for instance, or other of the numerous “protests” to to that sonorous, fluent, unctuous voice, which our adhesion is from time to time proclaiming in the street a tale of sudden demanded. No clergyman will have for- and overwhelming distress. The man, it gotten the famous “ Declaration,” to which is evident, has the gift of utterance; his signature was requested by a com- though whether he is speaking extempore mittee of influential laymen and church or is using what is technically known dignitaries, who accompanied their solic- among other public speakers as the meitation with the significant hint that “A moriter system, is perhaps not easy to decopy of this Declaration, with the signa- termine. Most reluctantly, he says, has tures affixed, will be forwarded to each of he at length been driven by dire necesthe Bishops.” It is difficult to believe sity to appeal to the benevolence of “kind that such a committee as that which put christian friends ;” and may they never, forth this “ Declaration" could have de- he hopes and trusts, know by experience liberately agreed to appeal to an abject what it is to be reduced to the same exmotive by putting the screw on us in this tremity. Every now and then he interway. Perhaps they handed over the doc-sperses his oration with an address to the ument to some experienced electioneer-child in his arms, half commiserating half ing agent, who of his own accord added congratulating it because of its unconthe offensive clause, and in so doing sciousness of poor father's misfortune." prided himself on his cleverness. A tac- A boy and girl walk one on either side of titian of high repute as a counter of heads, the “father," looking as if they think it a a collector of signatures, a gatherer of great bore to be thus occupied instead of funds, he may have been, and no doubt playing about like other children. But was. But such a man, capable of such a the man does not look as if he thinks it a device, can do neither his employers, nor bore. However he may try to seem misthose whom they set him to influence, nor erable, he still leaves on one's mind the least of all himself, any good. He may impression that he takes a positive demake a successful beggar, if that be his light in hearing the sound of his own line, or something else equally successful voice, that he is very proud of his natural and equally objectionable, if respectability powers, and that he regards anything that or even orthodoxy be his line ; but the may be given him as a just tribute to his doing of good, whether to himself or to! ability as a speaker. Whenever he others, is altogether another matter. My catches sight of me I have no doubt he "Sabbath” petitioners throw light upon mentally says: --" Now, if you and I all intimidators of the “inferior i clergy. 'were to change places, I should rise to be at least a canon, and you would starve." | nature ? Not at all. The more one Very likely. A loud voice, with a little studies human nature, the more one is dramatic action, goes a long way in the able to perceive that no one, not even a pulpit. If it does not go quite so far in street-beggar, is to be deemed altogether the street, the reason must be sought in out of the pale of sympathy. If some the counter-attractions of the street. experience of the arts of the mendicant Some streets are specially ill-adapted to throws light, as I have said, upon the its operations. A lively thoroughfare, means often used to advance more repwith plenty of traffic, does not suit it at utable ends than those of the mendicant, all. For other reasons an aristocratic further experience may reveal a ground square, hswever quiet, is not a favourite of sympathy even with the mendicant haunt of our friend with the loud voice. himself. Walking one day with a friend Not that he supposes the rich to be less in a London suburb, I saw a woman begcharitable than the poor, or on the other ging at the door of a house. The door, hand naturally more acute to see through as we passed, was shut in her face, and an impostor. But he is aware that in- she ran after us with the usual whining formation is more generally diffused request for alms. “ You will presently among the rich than among the poor con- hear that woman's tone change," I said cerning the unadvisableness of relieving to my friend. “Oh, I beg your pardon, such as cry in the streets; and his knowl- sir," she said, as she caught sight of my edge of human nature tells him that face ; “ I didn't know it was you.” “ Well, under his present circumstances he can- Mrs. Smith,” I said, “have you heard not hope to be appreciated and rewarded lately from John?” She put her hand in as an orator by the genteel, however they her pocket, took out a well-worn letter, may flock in crowds to hear and applaud and gave it to me to read. Having read some less gifted speaker on a respectable it, I asked a few more questions about platform. Very wisely then he betakes John, and gave her back the letter with a himself to such quiet streets as are inhab- shilling, for which she thanked me and ited by comparatively poor people, who went on her way. “I thought you never are not deterred by conventional preju- gave to beggars?” said my friend. “ You dices from recognizing in him a man of thought quite right,” I said; “I gave, talent unfortunately reduced to the streets not to the beggar, but to the woman. She for an arena. Of course it is advisable, knows what I think of her begging. But if one can do so with effect, to warn these she has a claim on my sympathy." I had people against the arts of such an impos- known her years before, as a parishioner tor. But in so doing one does but lay the of mine, in a district where I had been axe to a mere branch of the evil. The curate. She was already a confirmed root lies deep down in the readiness of beggar when I first became acquainted mankind to give undue heed to mere with her. But she had a son, in whom I rhetorical speech. Many a so-called elo- took an interest, and who enlisted, much quent oration, delivered in behalf of a for his own benefit, in a regiment which really good cause, is as full of unwhole- went abroad. To this son, the John some exaggeration as the street-beggar's above mentioned, I had reason to know appeal. All who are led away by it get she was sincerely attached. He had their taste more and more vitiated, until often been a subject of conversation at last they lose all power of instinctive between us ; and I think that a common appreciation of the truth when set forth ground of sympathy in an unlikely quarwith the plain simplicity with which it ter deserves the tribute of an occasional best harmonizes. Let them cultivate the shilling. The district in which this wohabit of resolutely and sedulously seek- man lived was, when I knew it, now many ing for truth, and truth only, whether in years ago, a peculiar one. It was a headthinking for themselves, or in listening quarters of very queer people — mounteto others; and they will spontaneously banks, beggars of every kind, thieves, and unconsciously turn a deaf ear to mere burglars, garotters. It is only with the rhetoric, no matter whether they hear it beggars that I am concerned in this from the pulpit or platform in a good paper. Not that I would venture to say cause, from the stump in a doubtful one, that the beggar never trenches upon the or from the street in behalf of a down-thief's department. I only say that he is right falsehood.
not necessarily a thief. But there is “honBut your way of looking at things,” our,” they say, even “among thieves ; ” some one will perhaps say to me, seems and I have found it, of a certain kind, to tend to a general distrust of human lamong beggars. One day, during the period of my ministry in the “Devil's laugh that the parson was not quite so Acre," as it used to be called, a man well green as he had supposed. Partly by known to me, with a bundle of tracts in his these protests, but chiefly, I am disposed hand, accosted me and asked me to give to think, by reason of a general feeling him something in consideration of his that the clergy of the district were not vocation as a tract-distributor. This man fair game for strictly professional operaI did suspect of being a thief. His tracts, tions, I arrived at something like a I believed, were only a cloak for facilitat- straightforward understanding with these ing the operations of an “area sneak.” people. My acquaintance with them was So I took a tract from him, and said I real as far as it went. In short, I knew would pay him a visit at the lodging-' them in private life : and I am bound to house where he lived, a notorious resort record, as the result of personal observafor such characters. I went there late tion, that it is possible, if one can but get the same evening, and found him, as I a clear view of him apart from his proexpected, in the kitchen, which served as fessional pursuits, to feel no little interthe common room. A good number of est even in a street-beggar. I have known the fraternity were present. Holding the a woman support an aged bed-ridden hustract in my hand, I said, addressing them band by begging from door to door all over all, that I had come to make a complaint. London. Whether, in going her rounds, How was I properly to discharge my duty she was in the habit of telling any lies, I as a clergyman in that street if there were do not know. I only know that she was to be practised on me any of the moves a kind attentive wife, and that under cirby which some of them were in the habit cumstances of some difficulty she kept of imposing upon the public? What a the poor old man clean and comfortable ; thing it would be, for instance, if, whilst for which he was unmistakably grateful. I might be upstairs in that very house I used to tell her that, if she could not engaged in prayer with a sick man, the support him without systematic begging, conversation downstairs should turn upon she ought to let him go to the workhouse, the subject of the best way of humbug. when no doubt she might get her own live ging the parson! This protest meeting ing by work. Eventually he did go to the with general and decided approval, I house, and the wife, after telling me pointed out the tract-distributor as the where he was gone, disappeared. About offender whose conduct had led to these two years afterwards she called at my remarks, and rated him soundly, amid house in a suburban district, to which I cries of “Hear, hear,” for having plied had removed on changing my curacy, to me with cant. The only other occasion tell me that her husband was just dead, on which I found it necessary to have re- that he had been well treated and much course to anything like a public protest respected in the workhouse, and that she among these people was on this wise. A was sorry he had not gone there earlier young man came up to me one evening as than he did. I gave her a trifle for old I was just entering the night-school, and, acquaintance sake, and with tears in her showing me a hospital in-patient's letter, eyes she went away. I have never seen asked me for some money to buy flannel her since. and linen, which he said he should need! Let no one, however, take to indisin the hospital, into which he was to be criminate relieving of beggars for the admitted on the following day. I took reason that he may perchance bestow an the letter from him, in which was written alms upon some one whose circumstances his name and address, and said I would he might pity, or even whose character he attend to the matter after the closing might to some extent respect, if he should of the school. On going to his abode, happen to know him in private life. By another of the numerous lodging-houses all means let him assist to the best of his in that locality, I did not find him in the ability any necessitous person whom he common room. So I informed the assem- really does know and respect in private bled company of the request which had life.' It does not follow that in such a been made to me, and, leaving the letter case he will give money, still less that he with them, said that if they would let me will give it in an off-hand unintelligent know of the young man's admission into way; whilst it does too often follow that the hospital, I would visit him there and in seeking to know people in order to asgive him whatever I might ascertain to be sist them, he may find that, after all, he necessary. I heard no more of the mat- i has not made much way towards the reter, and I have no doubt that on his re- quisite knowledge. Must he therefore turn home that night he was told with a hold his hand altogether? By no means.
But let him first be satisfied that he has , sition. Destined before the march of done his duty toward those in any class modern ideas to recede from his happy of life whom in a natural way he really hunting grounds, perhaps no sentimental does know before he goes further afield regret will be expressed upon his retirein search of information concerning ment; but it should at least be rememthose whom as yet he does not know at all. bered in his favour that he did once supOf one thing let him rest assured, that ply a want. the probability of his coming face to face Meanwhile he has to adapt himself to with the professional mendicant in such altered circumstances, in short to shape a way as to have any clear insight into his old course “in pastures new.” When, his circumstances or his character is for instance, he hears of large sums of small indeed. Let him do what he may, money sent to a particular locality for disunless he have exceptional opportunities tribution among the poor, he is not the of observation, he will never see the man man to despair of diverting a due share of otherwise than under a professional as- it into his own pocket. Having obtaine, pect. In other trades and professions, the necessary information respecting any besides that of the beggar, a real man is committees that may have been formed, often hidden from view under his profes- the appointed distributors, the districts sional characteristics, which not unfre-assigned to them, and so on, he forthquently adhere to him even in private with sets to work testing the various dislife. But the peculiarity of the beggar's tributors. The more there are of them, trade is that he must needs be plying it in the better for him, both as extending the the presence of almost every one who has sphere of his operations, and as increase anything to give ; and the real inner man ing the probability of his lighting upon is therefore but rarely seen by the well- the sort of almoner with whom his tactics to-do classes. So thoroughly a profes- are likely to be successful. Early one sional man as the beggar must therefore morning during an exceptionally severe rest his claim for support and encourage- winter, when I was a member of an East ment entirely upon his use and benefit to End Relief Committee, a man called at society. Not that this is at all his way of my house, said he was out of work, and regarding the matter. He probably only had a sick wife, for whose necessities he considers of what use society can be to wanted immediate relief. The place him. But society may take the opposite where he said he lived was in the district point of view, and need only consider assigned to me by the committee. I told whether this is a branch of industry which him that his wife should be the first percontinues to meet the wants of the age. son I would visit when I came out that No doubt there has been a time, which morning, which would be in about an may not even yet have wholly passed hour. “But she's dying of starvation, away, in which the professional beggar sir, and wants instant relief.” I said that has supplied a distinct want. People in that case I would go at once. “Wait have felt it their duty to be charitable to till I get my coat and hat, and we'll go the poor, but until recently have known together.” When I returned to the door little or nothing about the poor. To per- the man was gone, and it is almost needsons in this state of mind the mendicant less to add that I found no sick wife at has presented himself as the representa- | his alleged place of abode. He had of tive of the poor, and forthwith has reaped course hoped that I might be unwilling the usual benefit of supplying a demand. or unable to come out immediately, and In short he has been in the position of would therefore feel it necessary without the purveyor of a luxury — the proverbial delay to give him what he asked.- This, luxury of doing good. But of late years by the way, throws light upon an incident so much information concerning the poor which attracted some attention at the has been disseminated through all classes time of the disappearance of Mr. Speke. of society, so many persons have taken A clergyman wrote to the Times to the an active interest in the condition of the effect that he had been stopped in the poor, and so many charitable agencies Strand by a woman, who asked him to for assisting the poor have been set on go with her to a court in St. Clement foot, that society no longer stands in the Danes to baptise a child, but, on his consame need as formerly of the services of senting to go, soon gave him the slip. the professional mendicant. It has even He then asked a policeman the way to happened to him, as to other favourites of the court, who told him it was a dangersociety, to become an object of public ous place to venture into alone, and acdislike, and to encounter organized oppo-'cordingly went with him ; but they failed